Remaking Boston: An Environmental History of the City and Its Surroundings
Remaking Boston: An Environmental History of the City and Its Surroundings. Edited by Anthony N. Penna and Conrad E. Wright. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2009. vii + 333 pp. Illustrations, maps, table, notes, and index. Cloth $40.00.
Remaking Boston adds to the growing list of environmental history essay collections focused on individual cities, joining St. Louis, Houston, Los Angeles, and Pittsburgh. Having evolved out of a conference at the Massachusetts Historical Society in 2006, this volume contains contributions from scholars and practitioners in a remarkable diversity of fields, including geology, geography, biology, and history. Anthony Penna offers a quick introduction to the city and the essays, in which the land making that greatly expanded the Shawmut Peninsula plays a central role. Although at first this seems an unnecessarily narrow introduction, land making—from the Back Bay to the greatly widened Boston Neck—did constitute the most fundamental remaking of Boston.
Each of the book's three sections contains valuable...